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[PREM FARE GONE] UA: NCL-EWR 600 DKK (mistaken fare) DOT ruled; see wiki for link

Old Feb 11, 2015, 11:49 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: drewguy
If you've never gone through this process read this before posting!
Note: Please consider that with high probability, United is monitoring this thread, so please pay attention on what you post!

DOT Investigation UpdatesNews Media Updates:

-------

According to USA Today, Ben Mutzabaugh:
United is voiding the bookings of several thousand individuals who were attempting to take advantage of an error a third-party software provider made when it applied an incorrect currency exchange rate, despite United having properly filed its fares. Most of these bookings were for travel originating in the United Kingdom, and the level of bookings made with Danish Kroner as the local currency was significantly higher than normal during the limited period that customers made these bookings.
Note that United has also accidentally cancelled "legitimate" tickets paid for in USD, purchased in USD from LHR... Please check your other tickets if purchased today to ensure they were not unilaterally cancelled.

However, there is no chance at all that you can have your tickets re-instated if you complain to DOT on the basis of DOT rule § 399.88:
§ 399.88 Prohibition on post-purchase price increase.

(a) It is an unfair and deceptive practice within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. 41712 for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, or of a tour (i.e., a combination of air transportation and ground or cruise accommodations), or tour component (e.g., a hotel stay) that includes scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, to increase the price of that air transportation, tour or tour component to a consumer, including but not limited to an increase in the price of the seat, an increase in the price for the carriage of passenger baggage, or an increase in an applicable fuel surcharge, after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of an increase in a government-imposed tax or fee. A purchase is deemed to have occurred when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer.
Form for filing DOT complaint. File complaint as soon as your ticket is cancelled.

Link to PDF of enforcement bodies for European customers affected. File complaint as soon as your ticket is cancelled.


Tips for DOT Complaint:
  • File on DOT for every ticket number affected.
  • If you have one reservation with four people traveling (four tickets) file 4 DOT complaints, one per ticket.
  • If you have separate reservations, file a DOT complaint for each.
  • The DOT complaint website may take several minutes to load, depending on demand.
  • When you go to upload a file, be careful as it will reset all your radio buttons. So, if you want a copy of the complaint, make sure you double check that "Yes" is still selected before submitting, especially if you upload a file.

Template For Complaint:
United has unilaterally cancelled my ticket without my consent.

Facts:
1. The ticket was ticketed (had a ticket number).
2. I received a confirmation number, ticket number, and emails stating both
3. The ticket was paid for and my credit card charged.

United must reinstate the ticket within its original cabin. This trip is for travel TO the United States.

At no time during the booking process was any other fare than the Danish Krone equivalent displayed. As a reasonable, prudent consumer, I believed I was paying the price displayed to me on the website. United never sent or displayed the equivalent fare in any other currency.

Trip Details
Ticket #: 016XXXXXXXXXX
PNR: XXXXXX
Routing: LHR-EWR-LAX-HNL

Attachments: Attached is a document showing the ticket, routing, and providing proof that the reservation was ticketed.

Filename: Cancelled - UA Reservation - LHR-EWR-LAX-HNL - XXXXXX - 016XXXXXXXXXX.pdf

+-------------------------------------------------------+
| Relevant Law |
| http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/399.88 |
+-------------------------------------------------------+
§ 399.88 Prohibition on post-purchase price increase.

(a) It is an unfair and deceptive practice within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. 41712 for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, or of a tour (i.e., a combination of air transportation and ground or cruise accommodations), or tour component (e.g., a hotel stay) that includes scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, to increase the price of that air transportation, tour or tour component to a consumer, including but not limited to an increase in the price of the seat, an increase in the price for the carriage of passenger baggage, or an increase in an applicable fuel surcharge, after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of an increase in a government-imposed tax or fee. A purchase is deemed to have occurred when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer.

+-------------------------------------------------------+
| Relevant FAQ |
| http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/EAPP_2_FAQ.pdf |
+-------------------------------------------------------+
Does the prohibition on post-purchase price increases in section 399.88(a) apply in the situation where a carrier mistakenly offers an airfare due to a computer problem or human error and a consumer purchases the ticket at that fare before the carrier is able to fix the mistake?

Section 399.88(a) states that it is an unfair and deceptive practice for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to, or from the United States, or of a tour or tour component that includes scheduled air transportation within, to, or from the United States, to increase the price of that air transportation to a consumer after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of a government-imposed tax or fee and only if the passenger is advised of a possible increase before purchasing a ticket. A purchase occurs when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer. Therefore, if a consumer purchases a fare and that consumer receives confirmation (such as a confirmation email and/or the purchase appears on their credit card statement or online account summary) of their purchase, then the seller of air transportation cannot increase the price of that air transportation to that consumer, even when the fare is a “mistake.”
-----
Tips for retrieving your ticket number:
  1. paste(right click copy link location first) following link into your web browser
  2. change XXXXXX next to COPNR= for your reservation number and LASTNAME next to LN= for you SURNAME
  3. go to the webpage address you have just created

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...NRCD=2/11/2015


Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
R E L A X

Breathe deep.

Congrats on all who got in.

Now comes the fun part.

1. Discovery - mistake fare is posted on FT. Novices frantically checks how much vacation time they have and if the dates of availability mesh with their schedules. Experienced FTers just book it and worry about contacting spouses or their boss later. Word spreads like wildfire.

2. Excitement - Tickets purchased, confirmation emails received and dates of travel shared with other FTers. Discussions of what to see and do and where to stay crop up in other threads. Novices contact source to change seats or inquire about upgrades, Seasoned FTers sit back and enjoy reading the discussion threads.

3. Stress Stage 1 - Concern over paper ticket delivery - Novices Frantically check otheFedEx website every few hours, constant monitoring of driveway for FedEx truck. Seasoned FT veterans sit back and relax.

4. Glee and happiness - Paper tickets in hand, vacation request submitted, spouses finally informed, hotel reservations made and bragging to friends and co-workers begins. Both novices and experts get very excited.

5. Stress Stage 2 - Rumors of fare not being honored, discussion threads about the airline and ticketing agency ensue. Rumors crop up like crabgrass at this stage. Many FTers begin to worry excessively about whether or not the trip will happen. Novices make non-refundable and financial committments to their trip. Seasoned FTers make mixed drinks (and maybe a sandwich) and is patient.

6. Reality Check - Accurate information is obtained - usually takes place a week to 10 days after mistake fare is published. Confirmed information from the source as to whether or not tickets will be honored.

7a. Pure Joy (Icelandair style- Fare is Honored) - Lots of happy people, FT threads on shared information regarding hotels, restaurants, tours, etc. Jealousy from others sets in. First "FT guinea pigs" embark, post confirmation threads that all is ok.


7b Hostile Feelings (Copa Airlines Style - fare is not honored) - Many angry and disappointed FTers. Refunds are issued. Novices have multiple discussion threads of lawsuits and hostile correspondence, FT pros mutter "c'est la vie" and look for the next fare mistake.

8a Success (Honored) - Trip Report thread becomes very active


Freedom of Information Act Request
File #2015-147, Office of the Secretary of Transportation - Receipt acknowledged 3/13/15

http://www.dot.gov/individuals/foia/office-secretary-foia-information

Relevant excerpt from my request on 2/24/15. There no need for multiple requests for the same thing, though feel free to request more or different information obviously. I'll post any updates as I get them.

"Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S. C. subsection 552, I am requesting access to any and all records of correspondence, including electronic, between anyone working for, or on the behalf of, United Airlines and its subsidiaries, and with anyone working for, or on the behalf of, the Department of Transportation; specifically this would include only the date range beginning on February 11th, 2015 through and including February 24th, 2015.

In addition, I am requesting access to any and all internal records and correspondence in relation to coming to the decision made on February 23rd, 2015 regarding the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings Determination Regarding United Airlines Mistaken Fare, with the exception of any of the consumer submitted complaints via phone, email, website, or letter. Specifically, this would be any records beginning on February 11th, 2015 through and including February 24th, 2015."
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[PREM FARE GONE] UA: NCL-EWR 600 DKK (mistaken fare) DOT ruled; see wiki for link

Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:17 pm
  #2896  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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If UA wanted to limit DKK purchases to Danish Bank issued cards, it could easily employ the technology to do so.

This issue is deader than Latoya Jackson's career.
SCSA is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:18 pm
  #2897  
 
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These mistake fares are a ton of fun. Following the media coverage on it, analyzing how the DOT might respond, listening to the moralists,and flaming United.

Will make it that much sweeter if these somehow get honored. It's an enjoyable ride either way.
Nehawk is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:19 pm
  #2898  
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Originally Posted by Paul4Travel
is unuseful to discuss about the billing address since everybody can change it easily , simply with a phon call to the credit card issuer, asking to send the billing address to their address in DK.

Furthermore i don't see any difference between the UA glitch and the AZ glitch: in both cases people went to another country website, using a promo code that was supposed to be valid only for the ones which live in JP.
At the end AZ honored the fare. But...the DOT didn't judge on the case.
Not with US-based banks I am afraid. The majority of purchasers here obviously are US-based.

In fact US-based banks do NOT allow credit cards issued to Non-US address, but the card can be sent to address outside US. Applications though, must be in US address. (implied the billing must be in US address).
Happy is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:20 pm
  #2899  
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Originally Posted by bthotugigem05
This issue is squarely in the DOT's eyes at this point, I'm not sure what more phone calls or complaints would accomplish.
1) I don't trust government servers to relay my message.

2) I want to speak to a human(oid).

3) Suspenders and a belt are a good strategy in many situations.
sonofzeus is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:20 pm
  #2900  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by as219
Why should this make a difference?

First off, some people bought tickets not passing through the US, or only connecting through the US, which automatically DOT has no ruling over. Secondly, it will cost UA much more to honor flights on partner carriers, plus it could blame them for not allowing them to confirm the tickets.
B747forever is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:21 pm
  #2901  
 
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Let's not lose sight that united said the ticket is "TICKETED AND CONFIRMED". Those words carry weight with the DOT.
skiwindham is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:22 pm
  #2902  
 
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Originally Posted by B747forever
First off, some people bought tickets not passing through the US, or only connecting through the US, which automatically DOT has no ruling over. Secondly, it will cost UA much more to honor flights on partner carriers, plus it could blame them for not allowing them to confirm the tickets.
Not if the carrier has a JV with UA.
FlyingLasse is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:24 pm
  #2903  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Posts: 845
Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
Not if the carrier has a JV with UA.

Even if it is a JV partner, the ticket probably must be confirmed by the operating airline (in this case LH). They could just say that LH refuses to confirm the tickets.
B747forever is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:24 pm
  #2904  
 
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Originally Posted by skiwindham
Let's not lose sight that united said the ticket is "TICKETED AND CONFIRMED". Those words carry weight with the DOT.
Any source on why that is the case?
FlyingLasse is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:24 pm
  #2905  
 
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Originally Posted by Happy
OTOH, if we put this out in front of an ordinary person who are not into this FT thing, there is hardly anyone feels the airline should eat crow and honor the tickets, even though most everyone hates airlines.
This is only one poll and only from one area of the US (Seattle) but I doubt these are all FTer's saying the tickets should be honored

Originally Posted by Happy
I only hope DOT would not modify their languages so to avoid "unintended consequences" in the future. Else, there would be much harder down the road to take advantage of mistake fares.
I certainly hope not either!
Clincher is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:24 pm
  #2906  
 
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Originally Posted by Happy
Not with US-based banks I am afraid. The majority of purchasers here obviously are US-based.

In fact US-based banks do NOT allow credit cards issued to Non-US address, but the card can be sent to address outside US. Applications though, must be in US address. (implied the billing must be in US address).
Sorry, not true.
dera is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:25 pm
  #2907  
 
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Originally Posted by Happy
Not with US-based banks I am afraid. The majority of purchasers here obviously are US-based.

In fact US-based banks do NOT allow credit cards issued to Non-US address, but the card can be sent to address outside US. Applications though, must be in US address. (implied the billing must be in US address).

I can certainly tell my bank to approve transactions using an address in another country. It might not be my official address with the bank, but they will more likely accept transactions to that address
dlandz is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:26 pm
  #2908  
 
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I have lost my way in this thread so I will just post the question here, taking a chance that it has not already been asked and answered.

As I am a danish citizen and bought my ticket (LHR-SFO) in my own currency with my danish credit card and danish billing address etc. can I be blamed for taking advantage of the currency conversion .... up? I mean when I go to the UA site it shows the danish currency (or at least it used to do that before this) I did not force any thing on the site, I simply ordered a ticket.
Ruki is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:26 pm
  #2909  
 
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I'm curious to know if anyone actually still has a valid ticket?
pnt1 is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:27 pm
  #2910  
 
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Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
Do you trust Fox News reporting?
I trust my own eyes. Did you even watch the segment, or are you just being contrary?

Happy said "there is hardly anyone feels the airline should eat crow and honor the tickets, even though most everyone hates airlines." The anchor in the segment linked above doesn't share this sentiment, hence my comment.
as219 is offline  

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